Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to Henry Dearborn, 5 February 1820

To Henry Dearborn

Monticello Feb. 5. 20.

Dear Sir

Your favor of Jan. 20. is just now recieved on the subject of mr Stewart and my portrait. he must have spoken without reflexion when he supposed it in my possession and hanging in my hall. the peculiarities of his temper and ideas render him a difficult subject to handle. in the inclosed letter I have endeavored to bring his recollection to rights as softly as I can. with respect to the 1st canvas portrait I thought it a good one, and should have been contented with it, had he not himself been dissatisfied with it; and still if he chuses to deliver that instead of the 2d if he will finish and deliver it I shall be satisfied. I am sorry to give you this trouble, but if this letter does not effect a delivery, the business may still lie awhile longer. I leave the letter open for your perusal, & will pray you to seal it before delivery.

I rejoice to learn that you continue to enjoy good health. I pray you may do so through as long a life as you wish. mine is gone with little prospect of a return. but I have enjoyed so much of it thro’ life that I have no right to complain, and am truly ready to meet whatever destiny is before me. I pray you to deliver from myself, mrs Randolph and family to mrs Dearborne not our respects, the word is too cold, but the sincere affections of our hearts, and be assured of the same to yourself.

Th: Jefferson

RC (ViU: TJP); at foot of text: “Majr Genl Dearborne.” PoC (DLC); on verso of reused address cover of James Monroe to TJ, 8 Feb. 1819; edge trimmed; endorsed by TJ.

The inclosed letter from TJ to Gilbert Stuart, not found, is recorded in SJL as written 4 Feb. 1820.

Index Entries

  • Dearborn, Henry; and G. Stuart’s portrait of TJ search
  • Dearborn, Henry; letters to search
  • Dearborn, Sarah Bowdoin (James Bowdoin’s widow; Henry Dearborn’s third wife); greetings sent to search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Health; aging search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Health; good health of search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Portraits; G. Stuart’s paintings search
  • paintings; by G. Stuart search
  • Randolph, Martha Jefferson (Patsy; TJ’s daughter; Thomas Mann Randolph’s wife); sends greetings to Dearborn family search
  • Stuart, Gilbert; letter to accounted for search
  • Stuart, Gilbert; portraits of TJ by search